US secretary of state John Kerry: “He is like a ferocious wolf pretending to be a benevolent sheep,” said North Korea’s National Defence Commission. Photograph: EPA/Jason Reed

North Korea’s powerful National Defence Commission launched a remarkable tirade against US secretary of state John Kerry yesterday, describing him as (...)

Pope Francis at the celebration of a Mass on the occasion of the closing of the 6th Asian Youth Day in Haemi-myeon, South Korea, yesterday. The pontiff led the beatification ceremony of 124 Korean martyrs. Photograph: Daniel Dal Zennaro/EPA.

In words that will resonate in several Asian countries, including China, North Korea and Vietnam, Pope Francis yesterday reached out to communist nat(...)

During his visit to the region last week, US vice president Joe Biden expressed support for allies South Korea and Japan in their defiance of China’s air defence zone. Photograph: Lee Jin-man/Reuters

South Korea has extended its own air defence identification zone to overlap with a similar area declared by China two weeks ago, as regional tensions (...)

Former Chinese politician Bo Xilai speaks in a court room at Jinan intermediate people’s court in Jinan, eastern China’s Shandong province, yesterday.  Photograph: AP

Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai has called his former protege Wang Lijun a liar during his trial, while maintaining that his wife, Gu Kailai, wa(...)

Song Zhengqiong, holding her daughter, cries in front of her damaged house after the  earthquake at Longmen village in Lushan county. Reuters/Jason Lee

Rescue workers struggled along narrow roads, many of them blocked by landslides, to reach villages devastated by a powerful ea(...)

People take part in an oath-taking meeting before the statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il on Mansudae Hill in Pyongyang yesterday. Photograph: Reuters

South Korea has asked China, North Korea’s only major ally, to muzzle its ideological ally and has raised its surveillance after the North move(...)

South Korean soldiers patrol inside the barbed-wire fence near the border village of Panmunjom yesterday in Paju, South Korea. North Korea seems to be following its usual strategy of using belligerent language to win concessions on aid and, ultimately, achieve a peace treaty with the US. Photograph: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty

Military tensions reached a new high on the Korean peninsula yesterday as North Korea reportedly moved an intermediate-range missile to its eas(...)

Vietnamese naval soldiers patrol at Truong Sa Dong island in the Spratly archipelago in January. China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all claim territory in the sea, including the Spratly and Paracel archipelagos. Photograph: Quang Le/Reuters

China has stepped up its presence in disputed territories in surrounding oceans with a series of naval drills at the disputed Spratly Islands, (...)

A subway in Shanghai yesterday where a TV  screen shows   China's newly elected president  Xi Jinping. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

In the months leading up to the National People’s Congress, which yesterday appointed Xi Jinping as president, the Xinhua n(...)